New movies this week
The gist: Tyler Perry takes over the role of James Patterson's D.C. homicide detective, originally played by Morgan Freeman in Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls, a terrible case of miscasting that still managed to work because, well, it's Morgan Freeman. Will Perry be able to make the jump from his assembly-line Madea movies? PG-13
The cast: Perry, Edward Burns, Matthew Fox, Jean Reno, Carmen Wjogo and Cicely Tyson.
The buzz: Perry, unfortunately, is no Morgan Freeman, and the movie being bad is no help. "You almost feel sorry for Tyler Perry, stepping out of his own universe for the first time to try to expand his range and finding himself in something as thoroughly dismal as Alex Cross," the Hollywood Reporter says.
Paranormal Activity 4
The gist: It's Halloween, so we should all thank our lucky stars the latest horror-movie franchise isn't a recycled, mindless slasher flick. No, it's a recycled, mindless found-footage flick. Now! With teenagers! R
The cast: Thoroughly interchangeable and forgettable acting hopefuls.
The buzz: Terrible reviews assure a good opening weekend. "Less reliant on slow-burn suspense and larded with fake-out jump scares, this is the first sequel in the series that fails to advance the overall mythology in any meaningful way," Variety says, completely missing the point.
Sleepwalk With Me
The gist: A movie adaptation of Mike Birbiglia's semi-autobiographical one-man show, about a floundering and forlorn standup comic stricken with somnambulism. That's right, we've got vocabulary up in here. No MPAA rating
The cast: Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, James Rebhorn, Carol Knae, Cristin Milioti and Aya Cash.
The buzz: A faithful translation of good material a lot of people can relate to. "A smart, neurotic slice-of-life comedy about a standup comic with confidence issues, commitment issues and career issues," the Philadelphia Inquirer says.
— Joshua Gillin [email protected]